In the office we have a system with a drive that is dedicated to archiving mostly Word Documents but also other specific data file types. In theory, it should contain only data files but in fact, it contains everything from temp files to executable to just about every possible type that can be copied from one place to another.
There are, however, a multitude of file-types that are absolutely worthless to anyone in the context for which the use was originally envisioned. Half the space and probably 50% of the files by filename are actually worthless and never used. They only take up space and slow down searches.
From time to time, I have used "Everything.exe" (the Best File Search engine I have ever seen...<a small 'plug' to Voidtools.com for making it
> to locate the *.tmp and *.exe etc. and delete them all. But it takes quite a lot of time and I am never sure I have gotten out all the various files extensions that just waste space and never will be of use to anyone.
It occurred to me that it would be nice to have two tools for this. One would be something like the program "Filesize" to create a graph showing how much space is used by each of the various file extensions. But most useful would be a "filter by extension" that could be applied to any files copied to the drive to either filter out or allow in each file based on its extension. I am inclined to think it best to "block by specific extension" because it would give more control over unnecessary files and not possibly block those that I am just not familiar with yet.
This probably sounds a bit off the wall(and I am sure it is) but when a 4TB drive is half full of worthless files and only 2 TB of it is data anyone really needs to keep, it would save upgrading to another drive just to be able to store more worthless trash as well as slowing down searches for the specific files that are needed.
Most users just drag and drop entire folder groups in order to get just the documents contained in them. There are far too many ways to get the "trash in with the treasure" and no easy way to prevent it from being stored there.
This was a "Way-Out-There" solution that I thought might actually exist somewhere. A "file-by-extension-filter" (like a firewall for filenames)
that could stop it from ever happening in the first place instead of trying to skim them all out after the fact. And one to make a nice graphic chart showing usage by extension would give me a way to prove or disprove the need for such a filter in the first place.
If anyone has ever written such, i figure someone here would know about it!